1510s, earlier simply sandell (late 14c.), saundres (early 14c.), "the wood of the heart and roots of certain species of trees native to Asia," from Old French sandale, from Medieval Latin sandalum, from Late Greek santalon, which is ultimately from Sanskrit čandana-m "the sandalwood tree," perhaps literally "wood for burning incense," related to candrah "shining, glowing," and cognate with Latin candere "to shine, glow" (see candle). In China it was burnt extensively as incense in temples and homes. Sandalwood oil, distilled from the wood of some species, is strongly aromatic and used in perfumes and cosmetics.
updated on December 08, 2021